With just weeks until the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, hundreds of runners can be found on area roads training for their big race. As such, Mercy Health and members of the Lucas County Traffic Safety committee are advising drivers to keep an eye out for these runners on the road.
More than 4,000 pedestrians die every year after being hit by cars. Due to a recent increase in pedestrian fatalities in Lucas County, Mercy Health and Lucas County Traffic Safety are partnering to bring awareness to pedestrian safety.
The Lucas County Traffic Safety Program reports that in 2016 Lucas County had 8 pedestrian killed on area roadways, including one runner. From January 1, 2017 to present, there have already been four pedestrian deaths.
“The number of pedestrian fatalities is up significantly in Ohio. It is so important to stay vigilant, both as a pedestrian and as a driver. Everyone must be alert, avoiding distractions, so they can arrive to their destination safely.” Nicole Knepper, Trauma Education/Outreach/Prevention coordinator at Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center.
To help both drivers keep our Lucas County roadways safe, the committee recommends that drivers:
- Focus on the road at all times.
- Putting your phone down and driving alert at all times is the drivers #1 priority.
- When approaching crosswalks, reduce speed and be prepared to stop.
- Never pass a car that has stopped at a cross walk.
- And NEVER drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol – this puts all drivers and pedestrians at risk
Pedestrians also have a responsibility to stay safe on the roads. The Lucas County Traffic Safety program suggests these tips:
- Stay Visible. Wear light or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
- Stay alert. Put your phone down and do not wear headphones. Your eyes and ears will keep you safe.
- Never assume that the vehicle will give you the right away. Try and make eye contact with the driver before you cross the street.
- Walk on sidewalks and if no sidewalks are available, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as possible.
“We must remind both pedestrians AND drivers that it their responsibility on the roadways as it specifically deals with pedestrian safety,” said Jamie Blazevich, Traffic Safety coordinator, Lucas County. “With distracted driving on the rise, pedestrians need to be more aware, now more than ever.”
More than 8,000 runners are expected to participate in the races of the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday, April 23. Let’s be sure to keep them safe while they train!
The Lucas County Traffic Safety Program is funded through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Traffic Safety Office and is administered by the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West.